Characters: Juniper, Giles and a memberable cast of characters mostly. Juniper is a unique girl with only two friends, a love of books, knowledge, the truth, and a collection of Spy glasses and dodads. While Juniper might not act exactly like a normal elven year old at times seems much older then her age she is still a child protagonist. Brave, smart, inquisitive Juniper is a role model way beyond her years. Giles is the woobie the everything bad happens to boy. You just want to hug him and tell him everything will be okay. Giles is weak but strong, smart but stupid and above all a friend. Mr. and Mrs. Berry were also well done as were the other characters. The only nitpick is while these characters have depth some are lacking a backstory or something to give that depth a push, Gailes, Mr and Mrs berry, the axe man, they were very colorful but lacked a backstory or a little bit more of a push of depth however these characters were over all remeberable and stunning B
Story: Finely written a story that anyone of any age could read and appreciate. The adventure that Juniper and Giles go though is one that spans beyond age limits. . These characters and what they went though could be translated into a YA so easily “ The lonely girl and the unwanted boy” characters whos views (if older) could be twisted into something more depressing then what the words say. Giles cold, wet, and scared wanting to escape the world. Juniper who so wants to be accept somewhere and be part of something. These themes are so grown up and is written so flawlessly that its easy to get cought up in this world. The plot it's self is marvelous done with the basic “ Deal with the Devil” idea mixed with some pretty grown up themes of belonging, and yearning for things not there but told in such a simple adventure story of two kids trying to save their parents from the big bad guy. While the idea, plot, and writing were very well done and will interest reluctant readers (readers in general or just readers of Middle grade) it's not with out its flaws. While interesting for older readers the story will fall very predictable something said, or an action or just the general out coming will be predictable also while most of the questions are answered and handled well some are not. A spicfic character knows something about something but we don't know why also while we know Mr and Mrs. Berry made a deal with the underground monster we don't know how. That is a question that is left and makes more questions How did they find that tree? How did they find underground monster? Why did they do what they did? Did others know of this underground? How did they get there? Is there more then one point of entrance? More questions arise at the end of the book as well but due to spoilers won't be asked here.
Evenly pasted with a touch of creepy, a hint of mystery, an adventure, a promise of a good read and a friendship this is a story that while still flawed is one of a kind. B
Cover: Eye catching and captivating. The tree with the authors name carved into it while the title is knarnled tree branches the raven, and of course Junpier and Giles. Juniper looking like a younger disney princess from “Brave” with the pale yellow orange of the sunset atmosphere this cover is very tim burten A
Rating: MG ages 8-12
Company: Walden pond press (Harper collins)
My rating : 4 of 5 I really enjoyed this book while I did find some of it predicable and some unanswered questions frustrating as it lowered my rating for it. It remind me of when I was obsessed almost with souls and soul stealing and all that stuff. Not only that but I kept thinking of Giles was older stating he didn't care about getting wet, his “I want out of this world” could be taken to depressed suicidal if in a YA and that is what makes this a fun story that you can play with the characters and take there words to adult meanings. It also is very reminiscent of Neil gaimans work Caroline in many ways